Court documents: Phoenix officer placed on life support, was shot 8 times

Dec 15, 2021, 10:08 AM | Updated: 11:19 am

Officer Tyler Moldovan (Phoenix Police Department Photo), left, and Essa Williams (Maricopa County ...

Officer Tyler Moldovan (Phoenix Police Department Photo), left, and Essa Williams (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)

(Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)

PHOENIX – Phoenix Police Officer Tyler Moldovan was placed on life support after getting shot eight times early Tuesday, including once in the head, according to court documents.

The suspect, Essa Kolareh Eugene Williams, allegedly continued shooting at Moldovan after he was already on the ground at an apartment complex near Camelback Road and 15th Avenue, according to the probable cause statement.

Williams allegedly dropped the 9MM handgun used in the shooting and tried to pull Moldovan’s firearm from the officer’s holster while other officers converged.

After officers detained him, the suspect allegedly attempted to get away multiple times.

Moldovan, 22, was unresponsive when his colleagues came to his aid. Under the section for reasons the defendant might flee, the booking form says the officer isn’t expected to survive.

Moldovan was shot before dawn Tuesday as officers searched for the driver of one of several cars reportedly driving erratically nearby.

Williams has nine prior felony convictions, including two for armed robbery, prosecutor John Schneider said at a court hearing Tuesday night.

“He’s heard on body camera before the crimes occurred, saying something like he was going back to jail,” Schneider said. “A short time later he shot at police presumably to avoid any apprehension.”

The probable cause statement says Williams was on probation for car theft.

He was booked on one count each of attempted first-degree murder of a law enforcement officer, prohibited weapon possession, resisting arrest and aggravated assault of an officer.

A judge ordered him held on a $3 million cash bond.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Court documents: Phoenix officer placed on life support, was shot 8 times